Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Renewal Theology

Renewal Theology deals with all the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. The three volumes were written especially for persons involved in the Pentecostal and charismatic renewal. Now published as three volumes in one, with the subtitle of Systematic Theology from a Charismatic Perspective, the whole of Renewal Theology is readily available. There have been numerous printings of the three volumes as well as foreign translations. Renewal Theology is used as a textbook in several colleges and seminaries. It has also been helpful to many people in study groups and for private reading.

My purpose in writing Renewal Theology

Renewal Theology is in one sense an expression of revitalization. When I came into the renewal in 1965, "God is dead" language was abroad in the land. What happened in my case and that of many others was God's own answer: a powerful self-revelation. John Calvin had long ago declared about God that "the recognition of him consists more in living experience than in vain and high-flown speculation." Now that there was an enhancement of "living experience" in my life, there came about a fresh zeal for teaching theology in its many facets. As I said later in The Era of the Spirit, "A new dynamic has been unleashed that has vitalized various theological categories." Renewal Theology is an expression of theological revitalization.

Renewal Theology also represents an effort to reclaim certain biblical affirmations that have been largely neglected or given insufficient attention. In line with the setting of this theology within the contemporary renewal, there is also a deep concern to relate relevant renewal emphases to more traditional categories. Since it is my conviction that church tradition and theology have generally failed to treat adequately the aspect of the work of the Holy Spirit that may be called "pentecostal" and "charismatic," Renewal Theology is an earnest attempt to bring these matters to light. Volume 2 deals particularly with this area; however, in many other places in Renewal Theology there is pentecostal/charismatic input.

 Finally, the concern of Renewal Theology in every area of study is truth. This is not an attempt to advance a particular cause but to understand in totality what the Christian faith proclaims. It is not only a matter of individual doctrines but also of the full round of Christian truth. With this in mind, it has been my prayerful desire that "the Spirit of truth" at every point will lead "into all the truth" (John 16:13).

What some outstanding Christian leaders say about Renewal Theology:

Pat Robertson: "If ever we needed a scripturally sound theology that also affirms the power of the Holy Spirit, the time is now. A leading theologian in the renewal movement and the founding professor of theology at Regent University, J. Rodman Williams has been a friend and colleague for over two decades. His Renewal Theology is a milestone in biblical scholarship."

Jack Hayford: "J. Rodman Williams' work and workmanship are helping secure the moorings of solid theology, bringing doctrinal perspective to and fresh biblical accountability upon the charismatic movement. His scholarship and his spiritual sensitivity are beautifully blended and are a blessing to us all."

John Wimber: "J. Rodman Williams has made a commendable effort in theologizing in a contemporary context. It's exciting to me to see reformed theology and renewal emphasis come together. I highly recommend the book."

Stanley Burgess: "J. Rodman Williams' Renewal Theology provides the first comprehensive theological statement from within the charismatic renewal. I have found his notes to be a goldmine both of biblical references undergirding charismatic theology and of contemporary charismatic sources from various traditions."

Carl Henry: "With this book (referring to volume 3), J. Rodman Williams, writing from a charismatic perspective, completes a systematic theology of three volumes for which many evangelicals have long looked."

Russell Spittler: "A landmark in charismatic theology! The high view of Scripture which controls Professor Williams's theological methods leads me to predict that this three-volume systematic theology will become the standard in Pentecostal and charismatic colleges and ministerial training institutes wherever English is read."

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